Analysis and spreadsheet tools

If you need to analyse data there are a lot of tools available to use. Which tool you use may depend on a range of factors:

  • basic or advanced functions — if you are working with a complex document you may require a tool with a range of formulas
  • availability of training — the availability of in-person training and online help varies between writing tools
  • industry standards — within certain industries there may be an expectation that you use a particular tool.

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Spreadsheet tools

Tool Useful features and limitations In-person training Online training Cost
Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is the standard spreadsheet tool used in most workplaces and is recommended if you need the full range of specialized functions. You can share and collaborate using OneDrive. You can download Microsoft Excel on your computer,  or use online or via a mobile app.

Note: OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage solution, allows you to work backup your documents and work collaboratively with others. OneDrive is not included as part of UQ’s Office 365 package. We recommend you get a free personal Microsoft Account to get OneDrive

Yes Excel Essential Training (Office 365) (LinkedIn Learning, 2h4m)


Free for UQ staff & students

Google Sheets

Google Sheets is a free, web-based tool for creating spreadsheets and requires a Google Account to use. To access Sheets offline you need to use the Google Chrome browser and install Google Docs offline Chrome extension. You can also access Sheets via a mobile app.

Google Sheet makes sharing and collaboration easy, and you can export spreadsheets to Excel (.xlsx) or plain text (.csv) file formats.

No Google Sheets Essential Training (LinkedIn Learning, 2h57m)


Calc (LibreOffice) Calc is a free spreadsheet tool you can download to your computer. Calc does allow you to share spreadsheets so multiple users can add data, however, real-time collaboration is not supported. File formats are compatible with Excel. No LibreOffice 5.1 New Features: Calc (YouTube, 1m41s)

Open source


Data analysis tools

Tool Useful features or limitations In-person training Online tutorial Cost
Matlab Matlab is downloadable software you can use for data analysis,  modelling and visualisation. UQ students can download MATLAB to their personal computers. No

Learning MATLAB (LinkedIn Learning, 1h13m)

MATLAB 2018 Essential Training (LinkedIn Learning, 3h15m)


Free for UQ students

Python Python is a programming language that can be used for data analysis and visualisation.  No

Learning Python (LinkedIn Learning, 2h11m)

Python Essential Training (LinkedIn Learning, 4h45m)


R and R Studio R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. RStudio is an integrated development environment (IDE) to make R easier to use. Yes

Key R tutorials from LinkedIn Learning

Resources used in our different R courses

Open source

SAS SAS's Education Analytical Suite is a data analytics tool available to be downloaded by UQ students. No Getting Started with SAS Studio


SPSS SPSS Statistics is a software package used for statistical analysis and is available for UQ students to via Zenworks on Library Computers and in HASS/HABS Student Computer Labs No

Introduction to SPSS for data analysis (YouTube, 16m17s)

SPSS for Academic Research (LinkedIn Learning, 2h42m)

SPSS Statistics Essential Training (LinkedIn Learning, 4h57m)


Free use on selected UQ computers.

KNIME Analytics Platform

Use KNIME Analytics Platform to create data workflows, perform different analysis steps and display the results as models or interactive views for interpretation. KNIME analytics platform is available as a free open source desktop application under the GNU General Public License


Resources from KNIME to get you started

Data mining course (LinkedIn Learning, 4h40m) - sections on Classification in KNIME and Association analysis in KNIME.

Open source

GIS tools

This table lists a few key GIS tools and training resources. See our Geographical information systems (GIS) guide for a more comprehensive overview of GIS resources for researchers.



Useful features and limitations In-person training Online training Cost
Carto Carto is a cloud-based GIS platform built on open source software. Students can use Carto for free via the GitHub Student Developer Pack. No  See Carto Academy

Open source

ESRI ArcGIS ESRI ArcGIS is a downloadable tool for building and analysing geographical information. Students may use ArcGIS within specific courses. View the UQ Map Gallery from ArcGIS. No

Learning ArcGIS (LinkedIn Learning, 3h13m)



Free for UQ students

Google Earth Google Earth is a free mapping tool available online, via your desktop, or on your mobile device.  No Become a Google mapping expert


QGIS QGIS is a free, open-source desktop application for creating, editing and analysing geospatial information. Yes

Learning QGIS (LinkedIn Learning, 2h5m)

QGIS Training manual

Open source

Text analysis tools

This table lists a few key text analysis software tools and training resources. Our Text mining and text analysis guide provides a more comprehensive overview for researchers. It includes information on:

  • Sources of text data
  • Preparing text for analysis
  • A tool comparison table
Tool  Useful features and limitations In-person training Online training and guides Cost
Leximancer Leximancer is used for scientific qualitative data analysis including concept visualisation and mapping. Students can download a standalone licence for their computer. UQ students and staff can access a licensed version of Leximancer desktop software. Yes 

Introduction to Leximancer (YouTube, 1m36s)

Advanced Leximancer Features (YouTube, 2m56s)

Online tutorials, videos and product manuals from Leximancer


Free for UQ students

NVivo Nvivo is software used to organise and analyse text and data. The software is available on Library computers in selected locations (see Additional software in Zenworks). Otherwise, you can purchase a reduced price student licence. Yes

Learning NVivo (LinkedIn Learning, 1h10m)

NVivo 2018 Essential Training (LinkedIn Learning, 1h23m)

Using NVivo in systematic reviews guide

Getting started guides from QSR International


Free on UQ computers. A personal licence can be purchased.

OpenRefine OpenRefine can be used as a powerful text search tool and to clean and transform data. It is useful for text and data analysis. Yes OpenRefine has short introductory videos and user documentation to get you started

Open source

Icon key

 Free tools are completely free to use with all features.

 Freeware tools include basic functionality for free. Additional features may need to be paid for.

 Open source tools are developed in a collaborative manner and can be used, modified or shared openly. This software can be used for free and often includes a lot of support documentation.

 Paid tools can only be used after purchasing, and agreeing to, a product licence.